Bortles, who underwent surgery on his right wrist last Friday, is expected to be the Jaguars' starting quarterback in 2018, Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reports. "To my understanding, Blake Bortles is their quarterback, so no, this [the procedure] shouldn't affect him at all [next season]," Rapoport said.
According to Adam Schefter of ESPN, Bortles dealt with an issue in the wrist of his throwing hand since December of 2016, but it didn't stop him from committing the fewest turnovers (16) in a given season in his career to date. Expected to make a full recovery, there remains some murkiness surrounding Bortles' status for the upcoming campaign, primarily related to the Jaguars' willingness to pay his fifth-year option worth nearly $19.1 million. The salary will kick in on March 14, but upon hearing Rapoport speak of the situation, the organization seems willing to see how Bortles operates for another year on a veritable prove-it deal. If Bortles stays put, the biggest question mark will be the pass catchers at his disposal, as Allen Robinson (knee) and Marqise Lee are both unrestricted free agents.
Bortles, who underwent surgery on his right wrist last week, may not be fully healthy by the time the new league year opens March 14, which would prevent the Jaguars from cutting him, Cole Pepper of News4Jax.com reports.
Bortles' fifth-year option pays $19 million for 2018, but it's unclear if the Jaguars are eager to bring him back at that cost, given the shortcomings he's shown since entering the league. Though Bortles was able to shepherd the Jaguars to the AFC championship game in 2017, the team found success largely on the strength of its defense and Leonard Fournette-led running attack rather than the passing game. Jaguars executives Tom Coughlin and Dave Caldwell will likely take the next month to determine if the other options at quarterback available to the team via free agency or the draft would represent an upgrade over Bortles, whose offseason procedure could allow him to maintain a spot on the roster even if the team brings in a new starting signal caller.
Bortles underwent surgery on his right wrist Friday, Adam Schefter of ESPN reports.
The specifics of Bortles' injury remain unclear, but Schefter indicates it's an issue the Jaguars' quarterback has battled since December 2016. If that is indeed the case, the 25-year-old played the entirety of the 2017 season with the injury and still managed to put together a solid season, committing the fewest turnovers of his career and playing well through the playoffs.
Bortles completed 14 of 26 passes for 214 yards with one touchdown and no interceptions in Sunday's 45-42 AFC divisional-round win over the Steelers. He also gained 35 yards in five rushes and fumbled once but recovered.
The Jags relied heavily on Leonard Fournette in the first half before he suffered a late second-quarter ankle injury, and on some timely throws from Bortles in the second half. The four-year pro hit Keelan Cole with a 45-yard strike with 11:22 in the fourth quarter to move the ball down to the Steelers' three-yard line with the Jacksonville clinging to a 28-21 lead, an advantage they'd extend a play later on a three-yard Fournette scoring rush. He then essentially put the final nail in the Steelers' coffin with a nifty play-action 14-yard touchdown pass to fullback Tommy Bohanon with 4:19 remaining. Bortles ultimately couldn't get much going with his receivers, completing just six passes to wideouts on the afternoon. He did put together a much better stat line than in last week's wild-card win over the Bills, but he'll likely need to be considerably more productive in next Sunday's AFC championship road tilt against the Patriots to give the franchise a chance to advance to their first Super Bowl.
Bortles completed 12 of 23 passes for 87 yards with one touchdown and no interceptions in Sunday's 10-3 AFC wild-card win over the Bills. He also rushed 10 times for 88 yards and fumbled twice, recovering one.
Bortles accomplished the highly unlikely feat of actually producing more on the ground than through the air on an afternoon when his accuracy was decidedly off. He connected with just four receivers on the day, and notably, none of his 12 completions went to the starting wideout duo of Allen Hurns and Marqise Lee (ankle). Instead, Bortles found his greatest synergy with rookie Dede Westbrook, who hauled in nearly half (five) of Bortles' successful throws. The UCF product did fire a clutch scoring dart to Ben Koyack to cap off a 15-play, 86-yard drive late that consumed 8:52 of the third quarter, and he was outstanding with his legs, including on a first-down run that came after he'd recovered his own fumble. Bortles will have to undoubtedly generate more production with his arm in next Sunday's AFC divisional-round road showdown against the Steelers, a team that he threw for only 95 yards against back in Week 5 while his defense picked off Ben Roethlisberger five times.
|Year||Team||G||Fum||Lost||Fum Forced||Own Rec||Opp Rec||Yds||Tot Rec||TD|